What can I say, GameCube? You had a good run these last five years, but your last exclusive release was Baten Kaitos Origins, back in September. Not even Nintendo themselves stuck it out until the end, moving Super Paper Mario onto the Wii. I’m sorry GameCube, but it’s time to say goodbye.
But let’s not look at your failures too much. Let us remember you as you were: a console that was home to some truly great games. You deserve it. And don’t worry about all those haters on the Internet, calling you a failure. In time, they’ll begin to understand.
You were released on Nov. 18th 2001 to a somewhat muted launch. In a surprise attack, Microsoft’s Xbox and their Halo stole much of your spotlight. I remember watching the video review of Halo on GameSpot, where the reviewer couldn’t sleep at night because he was playing Halo too much. But that didn’t faze you. You rolled out with Luigi’s Mansion.
In hindsight, that probably wasn’t the smartest thing you’ve done. But in only two months time, you would drop the big one: Super Smash Bros. Melee, which would become your highest selling game ever. We could finally beat the crap out of Pikachu with your amazing “next-generation” Nintendo controller. Even though it looked a little too much like a Tyco toy, we still gave it a chance.
And how can we forget the Capcom megaton announcement? In all their wisdom, Capcom would bestow upon you five exclusive titles. It was a Red Letter Day for you, but like all good things in life, it would be taken away from you in a most violent manner. Dead Phoenix would later be completely canned, while Viewtiful Joe, Resident Evil 4, and Killer 7 would all be ported to your arch nemesis, the Playstation 2. All you got in the end was P.N. 03, hardly the title you were hoping for. You still got two exclusive Resident Evil titles, though. I guess you can call them the consolation prize.
After that dust settled, you came out with all guns blazing. Silicon Knights’ Eternal Darkness would scare our pants off with its magnificent insanity effects. It may have sold poorly, but the few who played it were completely enveloped in one of the most profound presentations ever found in a video game.
Soon after, Metroid Prime would stun the world with its new first-person perspective. We were all worried how a 2D game would translate to a 3D FPS, but you silenced the skeptics by giving us one of the greatest games of all time. We are still feeling the ramifications of Retro’s opus today. Only for kids, my ass.
But again, disaster struck. At the 2002 E3 conference, you would go on to stun the world, revealing a game that made us hurt inside: Celda. A lot of us were outraged that you went and changed the realistic Zelda from Ocarina of Time to a cartoon one. You may have had good reason, but to do it behind our backs was just rude. But just like Metroid Prime, you would silence us all when you released The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker to one of the most successful pre-order campaigns ever. Maybe it was the promise of a re-released version of Ocarina of Time and its missing Master Quest. Maybe Wind Waker was the real deal. Whatever it was, Wind Waker would show everyone that the Zelda franchise is one of the most versatile in all of video game history.
The one thing that you couldn’t save us from was the dreaded GBA-connectivity scandal. Nintendo fans were rejoicing over finally getting Square back into the fold, but you had to make everyone buy a GBA and GC-GBA cable to fully enjoy Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles, didn’t you? You couldn’t just give us a traditional Final Fantasy, could you? You might have given us Pac Man Vs. and Four Swords, but the failed promise of interactivity may have been the kiss of death for you, my friend.
You’d go on to give us Tales of Symphonia, Ikaruga, F-Zero GX, and the wonderful Super Mario Sunshine, where we finally got to ride Yoshi once more. You’d also get the best version of Soul Calibur II, with your very own Link to battle against the evil Soul Blade. Other such notable games were Alien Hominid, the Pikmin series, and Paper Mario. It was far more than we got with your older sibling, the N64, but it wasn’t enough to seriously compete with the likes of PS2 and Xbox. You’d go on to sell the least amount of all consoles in Nintendo history (the Virtual Boy won’t save you this time, I’m afraid).
Where did you go wrong? Maybe the whole “I don’t care about online play” did it. Maybe you really did cater to the younger audience more than the adult crowd. Dressing up in a horrible purple when you were first released could also have been a factor. But if I had to take a guess, I’d say the handle was your big mistake. It’s just too “forward thinking.” People want their consoles to be bullet proof, not easily transported.
Where it really counted was the games, and you had that in spades. You gave your fans some of the greatest gaming experiences ever created, and we thank you for that. Your name will go down in the hallowed halls of history with the likes of the Genesis, the N64, and the Dreamcast.
The GameCube is survived by his son, the Wii, and his little sister, the DS.
Godspeed, little buddy. May the afterlife treat you better.